8 Days Remaining
Daniel Sluman

Thursday 23rd
posted by Jody Porter in Arts

Well Versed is edited by Jody Porter

killing the darling of smoke
Daniel Sluman

a name you’ve held more times in your mouth
than lovers’   the weight of a full pack in your palm

as you split the film & find twenty pale promises
pinched side by side    bursting to be prised

from this cardboard theatre    outside a bar
or topless on your door-stop      having left

your joy between the sheets    the loneliness
that enters the window  coming flings

open     this rehearsed gasp bookmarking
each moment        when you’re single

& crying into your father’s arms
as he did   with his father before him    

you sit in your bruise-blue dressing gowns
& pull cigarettes from separate packs     

inhaling between sips of black coffee  
this comma puncturing a sentence

neither of you can bear to finish  
only the familiar tug of smoke    

a mantra      the hardest to kill    
that chants    death  death   death



Daniel Sluman's poems have appeared widely in journals such as Wordgathering, Popshot, B O D Y, and Under the Radar. He received an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Gloucestershire in 2012 and his debut full-length collection, Absence Has a Weight of It’s Own, was published in 2012. He was named as one of Huffington Post’s Top 5 British Poets to Watch in 2015, and his second collection the terrible, will be published Autumn/Winter 2015, also with Nine Arches Press.

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